Blogs from Karakol, Kyrgyzstan, Asia - page 3


Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol September 24th 2013

Vandaag was een lange dag vol indrukken en verassingen. Toen ik vanochtend de tent opendeed zag ik veel laaghangende, dreigende wolken rond ons heen. Ik ben gelijk een heuvel opgelopen om te kijken of er regen aankwam. Hoewel het er niet echt naar uitzag heb ik Esther gesommeerd om te beginnen met het uitruimen van de tent. Na een kwartier lag de tent in de auto. Natuurlijk bleef het droog..... maar ja, beter het zekere voor het onzekere. Het was alweer een aangename 16 graden, dus we konden heerlijk genieten van het ontbijt. Ik heb toen wat foto’s gaan nemen en stenen bekijken, Esther las een boek op haar e-reader. Na ons gewassen te hebben en de vaat gedaan met warm water van onze gasbrander zijn we terug gereden naar de hoofdweg en richting het oosten ... read more
Kleine waterval Barskoon
Fotograaf in actie
De Sovjet sportschool

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol August 18th 2012

Well I arrived back in civilization again this afternoon with some new friends along. I begin at the beginning. I left Karakol town on Tuesday morning and headed up to the Jeti Oguz Sanitorium; the location of the first meeting between Boris Yeltzin and the first president of Kyrgyzstan. It has not been renovated since the meeting. Anyway, I was just in the area for lunch and it is a good launching point for a four day trek through the mountains. I found a good spot for lunch and ordered some noodles and one cold beer. There were no empty tables so I sat down with these two old kooks knocking back shots of vodka at 12 noon. When in Rome. Our conversation was without words and only gestures. I turned down offers to rent a ... read more
The Food
Gentlemen's Club
Wrong Turn

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol July 16th 2012

The first task of the day (after our early morning swim in the lake) is to track down an eagle hunter, there are supposed to be several in the area, we have a couple of names, Arstan in Bokonbaev & Ishenbek in Kadji Sai (an ex-uranium processing town) but no directions. We stop each local we pass and ask for “berkutchi” and get pointed in the right direction. Then, like buses, we suddenly find 2 – a local gent is signalling for us to follow him round the corner to his friend's house while the young girl running down the road after us is telling us, in English, that her grandfather is a berkutchi. We end up visiting both. They very proudly show off their eagles, caught as chick, and genuinely used for hunting rabbits etc ... read more
Ishenbek & his eagle Genna
she is only small 4kg but can catch a fox
more eagles & falcons

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol May 1st 2012

"Humankind is the only creature that refuses to be what it is" -Camus Winter never seems to last very long. No matter how many days we get out in the cold, there never seems to be enough hours spent on frozen water of some sort. The more one becomes informed about and examines the finite crystals that fall from the sky, the more it becomes clear that snow is basically a miracle. This year saw less of these miracles falling on the Sierra but it did not prevent the making of some epic days. Sunrise to the beat of a pounding heart, long skin tracks scribe a human line in a wilderness of white. Tools sink into supple ice, soft as plastic, rare as gold in the state of eternal sun. Blue hardwax grips but barely, ... read more
Cage the dead
They like big butts
Soviet residue

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol April 30th 2011

Only the occasional "shish, shish" and "drrr" to tell the horse to go and stop break the placidity of the surroundings. The gallops of the horses seamlessly blend with the hum of nearby river and the melodic hymns of the birds. The sweet scent of pine trees permeates the air. Verdant alpine mountains and poplar tree-lined valleys splash color to the framing snow-capped peaks. Chilly air contrasts with the heat of the sun upon the skin. Resistance is futile. I give in to the irresistible invitation of Kyrgyzstan mountains and join a number of other backpackers from couchsurfing in horse-trekking part of the Central Tian Shan mountain range in Karakol up to the Altyn Arashan hot spings in the middle of an alpine valley (3000 m) for camping. Karakol is an idyllic but sleepy town in ... read more
the hills are alive with the sound of music
apple cheeks!
Sleepy town of Karakol

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol September 21st 2010

This national park has been a great place to get out and do some hiking. The landscape reminds us very much of home in the mountains. The first hike we did was just a quick few hours up the road just to see what there was to see. It was quite nice, just to get off the truck for a while. The following day we went for a bit of a longer hike (unintentionally). Somehow ended up on a ridge to the right of where we intended to go. It turned out to be a much higher and steeper climb. Each time we would come to a ridge, we would expect to be getting to the top, but there was always another ridge ahead to climb. The view from the top was totally worth it though. ... read more
River in the morning
Kathie posing

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol July 17th 2010

The 3 day trek we did from Karakol Valley to Ak Suu was quite demanding, lots of walking up and down passes and on dirt roads you walk on stony paths, but the scenery was stunning so as tired as we were we had a great time. Now time to head to Djety oguz, the last time I ws there was 3 years ago when I travelled with Dragoman, it was a different experience i wanted to see it again as I have fun memories. We asked Talaai from Teskey GH about places to free camp there and Russ went to TIC to ask about transport to the sanatorium where you start the hike. We have to buy food provisions again. Sore from the trek we decided to postpone the Djety Oguz hike until the next ... read more
Mal Bazaar, Sunday animal market

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol July 15th 2010

The colour of Kyrgyzstan is not red, as the flag suggests, or as might be associated with the recent spillage of blood in the south of the country. In fact there is not one colour you can put to it, instead it consists of a kaleidoscope of colours and if you have ever hiked in the Kyrgyz Mountains you will know what I mean. Here you wade through a multi coloured world of flowers of all sizes and shapes. Red, blue, purple, white, yellow, green, pink and everything in between is represented in the natural world that surrounds you in the green mountains of the Tien Shan. Kyrgyzstan, a country in turmoil, and because of this a country that is being avoided by most tourists. Good for me perhaps, but bad for the local population. As ... read more
Osh to Bishkek

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol July 15th 2010

We got up early ready to leave Kochkor, Russ was up before me, he had been sick, puking and going to the bathroom a lot, he suspects the meatpie from yesterday, but he had this same problem and I suspect giardiasis from drinking stream water in Tibet. Anyway we said goodbye to the wonderful family who hosted us, I will miss the cute kids whom I taught how to count and sing the ABC, we walked to town, which with my heavy pack is not pleasant, and in the town center near the bazaar we haggled for prices to Karakol but it is steep, they want 2,000 soms for both of us, we are not having that so we negotiated a shared taxi to Balykchy an hours drive away and costs us 150 soms each, we ... read more
Day 2: Arashan Valley
Day 1: Karakol valley
Day 1: Karakol valley

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Karakol July 30th 2009

Finally back on my blog. It is not all that easy to conect and when so only limited time available so I appologise for the delay. Obtaining the Tajik visa was suprisingly easy thought as I went though a travel agency (only way for tourists to get hold of one) they charged me a lot. Wanting to travel to the more remote region of the Pamirs they require a further permit but having some time on my hands I decided to attempt to obtain it in Dushanbe (the capital). At the agency i met an american wanting to travel the 600km distancing the two cities therefore we decided to travel together. After having been a little conned on the cost of the travel we eventually after arround14 hours arrived in Dushanbe. The authorites constantly asking for ... read more

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